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SAU Students Sound off on the Stanley Cup Scare

(Photo courtesy of Sydnee Horstman, Hive and Buzz Social Media Editor)

Reports that stainless steel Stanley cups have been under suspicion of containing lead in their products and has surfaced all over social media. The viral brand has been under fire after users on TikTok began testing their cups with home lead-testing kits. 

Even with negative test results, the videos continue to gain thousands of views. 

At St. Ambrose University, students are seen sippin’ out of their colorful and trendy Stanleys, but are they affected by the newest lead claims? 

(Photo courtesy of Sydnee Horstman, Hive and Buzz Social Media Editor)

SAU nursing senior, Taylor Smith says she does not fear the lead reports. “I use my Stanley every day with zero problems, and it’s not in the water bottle the lead is in between.” She continues, “If it were to harm me it would’ve done so already.”

Sophomore John Elder agrees. He says, “I can’t tell any difference with my Stanley. I’m not afraid of it. I have scarier things in life to worry about.” 

Stanley’s website claims that they use a “vacuum insulation technology” so the cup keeps liquids hot or cold. The cup contains a circle-shaped pellet at the bottom of the product to secure the insulation that according to Stanley, “includes some lead” but is “inaccessible to consumers,” once the layer of stainless steel is added on top. 

The company offers a lifetime warranty on its cups. If the lead-containing pellet breaks off, the customer can submit a warranty claim to receive a full refund. 

SAU sophomore, Jesse Lopez says he’s a loyal customer, owning five Stanley cups. 

 He says, “I heard about lead in Stanley cups and it is freaking me out. It is giving me the placebo effect and every time I drink out of mine I feel like I have a cough.  It sounds stupid but it is getting to me. I can’t get rid of my Stanley because I love to collect water bottles and they are very aesthetic.”

According to The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lead is a “naturally occurring element found in small amounts in the earth’s crust.” It can be toxic to all living things and is found everywhere- homes, workplaces, drinking water, and even air. Common lead exposure is from working with pipes, fossil fuels, gasoline, batteries, and paint. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that lead poisoning in humans is from breathing in lead toxins or touching the substance without even realizing it, causing significant damage to the recipient- including brain damage, slowed growth in the body, and even nutritional status, especially in children. 

Should consumers be afraid of their beloved and viral Stanley cups?

In a statement from a Stanley representative to NBC News, the company said: “Rest assured that no lead is present on the surface of any Stanley product that comes into contact with the consumer nor the contents of the product,” and that “Our engineering and supply chain teams are making progress on innovative, alternative materials for use in the sealing process.”

“The likelihood of lead exposure from a Stanley mug is considered very low,” says Jenna Forsyth, a research scientist at Standford University in an interview with The Washington Post.

Emma Romanelli, a senior at St. Ambrose University, says she believes that people should not believe everything shown on the internet. She explains, “If you own a Stanley cup I think it is up to the person to do their research before freaking out or jumping to conclusions. It spreads more chaos.”

Health experts say consumers should not be worried about lead in their cups, but rather the exposure from other potential lead-containing objects like batteries or pipes.